I have been thinking lately, about life. And how sometimes it doesn’t turn out how you expect. When I was little I always thought that I would grow up to be a free spirit. I would travel and play piano and never have a fixed abode. Which is odd because I have never been all that much of a free spirit. I used to worry all the time. About everything. So maybe it was more of a projection of who I wanted to be, rather than who I was likely to be? Anyway.
When I got sick, all I wanted was normality. And security. Taking chances, falling in love and making my dreams come true never factored into it. I didn’t want to try new things. Ever. And I stuck to that for quite a few years. It wasn’t until the other day that I realised I am so different to that now.
My sister said something that got me thinking. We were driving to Sydney and following her GPS. Though it was directing me in the opposite direction to the way I know to go, I trust technology much more than my own sense of direction and followed it. After 1 hour of driving down dirt-roads covered in pot holes and weaving in circles, (which will lead to another blog post shortly..dirt roads plus old cars=disaster) rather than the neat straight highway we had come to know and love, I stopped the car and demanded she look on the GPS to see if we were actually headed towards Sydney or if we were going to end up in a country town instead.
She responded by telling me I worry too much, and don’t take enough risks.
And you know what? I realised that I have become someone that takes risks all the time. Almost all of us are. To participate in life to the fullest we need to. We may not be free-spirits travelling where the wind takes us, but if we are following our dreams, even if those dreams may not be exciting to anyone other than ourselves, then we are taking risks.
I may not take risks by driving along dirt-roads without questioning whether or not we are going the right way. (it turns out that the GPS was set to ‘un-paved roads’). I may not run away to join the circus, or audition for movies, or start a jazz band, or drop out of uni to travel the world. Because none of those things are my dreams. They wouldn’t be risks that would pay off, or get me any closer to the life that I want to live.
I took a risk when I fell in love, when I moved out, when I dropped out of my degree to pursue a course that I knew I would either love or hate, when I got married, when I took all of those little chances every single day that may not seem like anything to anyone else, but mean a lot to me.
We are taking risks all the time. Just by getting up in the morning, heading out the door and making the most of what we were given.
Granted, I could take a few more risks. What she said did make me evaluate my life. And look at what I really want. I have a little life list going actually, all of those risks that I was still a little bit afraid of are now in pen in a little journal. And I am ticking them off one by one.
I will share one in the hopes it will inspire me to follow through (flaky is my middle name): To save up and travel all around Europe at the end of the year. And while Joel will be joining me for part of it, one dream of mine that I have always been too scared to make happen is to travel solo. And so travel solo I will. Hopefully....I am an awful saver. Absolutely awful. BUT that’s really just a cop-out, isn’t it. I am physically capable and financially capable of it.
So, in conclusion, let’s all raise a glass to risks. And to ourselves. For being the amazingly little risk-takers that we are.